Shōgo Sakai

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Shogo Sakai
Shogo Sakai - 1.jpg
Local 酒井 省吾 (さかい しょうご)
Born 1960-09-23
Birth Place Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Nationality Japanese   Japan.svg
Aliases SHOGO, Shougo Sakai, Shyougo Sakai, Big-Face Shogo, むうみん さかい (Muumin Sakai)

Shogo Sakai, born September 23, 1960, is a composer and arranger best known for his work at HAL Laboratory and Data East Corporation. In high school, Sakai was the lead guitarist and arranger for his band, Time (たいむ), where he first got his start composing music. After graduating in 1979, he studied economics at a university while continuing to work as a piano accompanist. He also spent some time as a conductor for a TV program, though not much is known about this period.

In 1987, after hearing Data East Corporation was expanding, he applied and was hired as an inhouse music composer. At first, Sakai was assigned to mostly home console and handheld games, many of which were ports of successful Data East arcade games. Depending on the project, Sakai would often ask part-timers like Masaaki Iwasaki, Yuji Suzuki, and Yusuke Takahama for additional music, which he would arrange and implement into each game. In 1993 and 1994, Sakai collaborated with Data East's sound team band GAMADELIC, performing and arranging for several of their CDs. While he was not a full member, Sakai was credited as "Manager", likely referring to his rising status in the sound department at Data East. In 1996, Sakai represented the company at Game Music Concert 5, arranging and conducting his own music from Glory of Heracles IV (ヘラクレスの栄光IV). It was this medley that caught the attention of Masahiro Sakurai, currently working for HAL Laboratory.

After preparing a demo tape of music for Mother 3, Sakai was accepted and hired at HAL as a composer. Also joining from Data East were Masaaki Iwasaki and Takuto Kitsuta. In 2017, he was in charge of arranging music for the Kirby series' 25th anniversary orchestra concert. While overseeing the arrangements of new staff members for the 30th Anniversary Music Festival, Sakai announced that he would retire from his position at HAL and continue as a freelancer.

As of 2023, Sakai remains a freelancer while creating YouTube videos discussing various music topics.

Music Development


According to Sakai, to create music and sound effects for the NES, he wrote the music in assembler macros (most likely a custom MML) on an MSX computer. The data was then compiled and converted to Data East's NES sound driver. Sakai said the programmer of the sound driver had the surname Ogoshi, but due to the passing years, he is unable to remember his full name.


Released Title Sample Notes
1987-06-02 Heracles no Eikou: Toujin Makyou Den (FC) With Azusa Hara.
1988-01-29 Donald Land (FC) (ドナルドランド)
1988-03-30 Be-Bop High School: Koukousei Gokuraku Densetsu (FC) (ビー・バップ・ハイスクール 高校生極楽伝説)
1988-08-12 Soccer League - Winner's Cup (FC)
1988-10-21 Cobra Command (NES) (コブラコマンド)
1988-12-?? Rampage (NES)
1988-12-16 Captain Silver (FC) (キャプテンシルバー)
1989-01-31 Al Unser Jr. Turbo Racing (NES) (ワールドグランプリ ポールトゥフィニッシュ)
1989-03-03 Winning Shot (PCE) (ウィニングショット)
1989-03-31 Home Run Nighter: Pennant League!! (FC) (ホームランナイター)
1989-04-01 Makai Hakkenden Shada (PCE) (魔界八犬伝シャダ)
1989-07-14 Bad Dudes (NES) (ドラゴンニンジャ)
1989-08-25 RoboCop (NES)
1989-09-01 Bloody Wolf (TG16) (ならず者戦闘部隊 ブラッディウルフ)
1989-12-23 Heracles no Eikou II: Titan no Metsubou (FC) (イラクレスの栄光II タイタンの滅亡)
1990-03-02 Heavy Barrel (NES) (ヘビーバレル)
1990-03-23 Boulder Dash (NES) (バルダーダッシュ)
1990-05-11 Lock 'n' Chase (GB) (ロックンチェイス)
1990-09-14 Little Magic (FC) (リトルマジック)
1990-09-28 Tantei Jinguuji Saburou: Toki no Sugiyuku Mama ni (FC) (探偵 神宮寺三郎 時の過ぎゆくままに")
1990-11-?? Werewolf: The Last Warrior (NES)
1990-12-21 Daikaijyu Deburasu (FC)
1991-02-08 Dark Lord (NES)
1991-03-29 Midnight Resistance (GEN) (ミッドナイト レジスタンス)
1991-05-24 Metal Max (FC) (メタルマックス) Sound Program
1991-08-02 Vapor Trail (GEN)
1992-03-06 Super Birdie Rush (SFC) (スーパーバーディー・ラッシュ) With Emi Shimizu and Takafumi Miura.
1992-04-24 Heracles no Eikou III: Kamigami no Chinmoku (SFC) (イラクレスの栄光3 神々の沈黙) With Seiji Momoi and Seiichi Hamada.
1992-12-27 Heracles no Eikou: Ugokidashita Kamigami (GB) (ヘラクレスの栄光 動き出した神々) Planning
1992-??-?? Captain America and the Avengers (GEN)
1994-04-28 Karnov's Revenge (NG) (ファイターズヒストリーダイナマイト)
1994-10-21 Heracles no Eikou IV: Kamigami-kara no Okurimono (SFC) (イラクレスの栄光 神々からの贈り物)
1995-??-?? Minnesota Fats: Pool Legend (GEN)
1995-??-?? Outlaws of the Lost Dynasty (ARC)
1995-03-31 Minnesota Fats: Pool Legend (SAT) Music, Voice, Coordination
1995-05-19 Karnov's Revenge (NGCD) (ファイターズヒストリーダイナマイト) Arrangement
1996-??-?? Avengers in Galactic Storm (ARC)
1996-03-21 Magical Drop II (ARC) (マジカルドロップ2)
1997-??-?? Virtua Fighter 2 (GEN) Sound Director
2001-11-21 Super Smash Bros. Melee (GC) (大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズDX)
2002-10-25 Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land (GBA) (星のカービィ 夢の泉デラックス) Sound Chief
2003-07-11 Kirby Air Ride (GC) (カービィのエアライド)
2006-04-20 Mother 3 (GBA)
2006-11-02 Kirby: Squeak Squad (NDS) (星のカービィ 参上!ドロッチェ団)
2008-01-31 Super Smash Bros. Brawl (WII) (大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズX)
2009-05-01 Wii no Ma (WII)
2009-11-20 Wii no Ma: Theater no Ma (WII)
2010-07-26 Face Pilot (DSI)
2010-11-01 Wii no Ma Shopping (WII)
2011-02-26 Face Raiders (3DS)
2011-08-04 Kirby Mass Attack (NDS) (あつめて!カービィ)
2012-07-19 Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition (Wii) (星のカービィ 20周年スペシャルコレクション)
2012-10-31 Crashmo (3DS) (引ク落ツ) Sound Support
2015-01-22 Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (WIIU) (タッチ!カービィ スーパーレインボ)
2015-10-01 Picross 3D: Round 2 (3DS) (カタチ新発見!立体ピクロス2)
2017-11-03 Kirby Battle Royale (3DS) (カービィ バトルデラックス!)
2018-02-26 Part Time UFO (AND) (はたらくUFO)
2019-10-08 Hosuu de Shoubu!! Kame Sanpo (IOS) (歩数で勝負!!カメさんぽ)
2020-10-28 Part Time UFO (SW) (はたらくUFO)
2022-08-17 Kirby's Dream Buffet (SW)

Picture Gallery